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Seems to me, if there's a sprout, then there's a seed.
If one can see the skull beneath the skin, one can see
the seed beneath the husk, which must first die in the ground
before it can rise again. planting and sprouting lend a very
specific metaphorical context to the corpse. A trope should work
in its own specific context before it can apply to a wider one.
I hope that helps your understanding.

P.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Nancy Gish" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, June 08, 2007 9:49 AM
Subject: Re: The Stetson Passage in TWL


> I do not understand this thread at all.  A corpse is a corpse.  It is
> not semen (unless male sexual material is all dead, in which case there
> would be no reason to wonder about sprouting.).  It is not seed.  (Why
> would Eliot use so ominous an image as "corpse" if it only meant the
> benign notion of a seed?  A corpse is, by definition, dead; a seed is
> not.)  It may well be a dead god, but there is no reason at all to make
> it just anything that can be put in the ground.  Given that Stetson is a
> soldier and given that at least one way to read TWL has been through
> Weston (Cleanth Brooks suggested the dead god image in 1939 and, since
> it can be connected with death by water, etc., it has been reiterated),
> the corpse works as part of the WWI images and/or the Grail legend.  It
> could also be murder of a more common sort--Eliot read and was
> apparently very interested in crime stories in the news and put such a
> story in "Sweeney Agonistes."  But what purpose is served by making it
> anything at all one might stick in the ground and cover up?
>
> The word "plant," by the way, has many meanings, not just planting
> crops.  It may mean planting an idea in someone's mind or setting up a
> colony or placing someone for observing or simply "to hide by burying"
> (American Heritage Dictionary).  I do not understand what there is in
> the context of the poem to suggest any speculation beyond the latter
> meaning or the oddly deliberate choice of a corpse.  In fact, its oddity
> here seems to me to make it quite specifically what it is.  Why else
> have a chance acquaintance who planted a corpse?
> Cheers,
> Nancy
>
>
> >>> Kate Troy <[log in to unmask]> 06/08/07 12:52 PM >>>
> There was an ancient custom of burying a corpse to bring good luck for
> the next year's crops and this seems likely because of the mention of an
> early frost.  It could also be a reference to a garden (and world) that
> is wasting away, where in the future nothing will grow, so it doesn't
> really matter what is planted, seeds or dead bodies.  It could also be a
> reference to reincarnation.
>
> Regards,
>
> Kate
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: cr mittal <[log in to unmask]>
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Sent: Fri, 8 Jun 2007 9:32 am
> Subject: Re: The Stetson Passage in TWL
>
>
>
> That's breaking fresh ground -- in a wasteland -- 
>
> for the sterile planting of a corpse in a garden.
>
> The metaphysical conceit here does hold its own
>
> even as the sperm does not !  No wonder, the
>
> sterility sprouts all through TWL.
>
>
>
> CR
>
>
> Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> The word "planted" needs to be accounted for.
>
> One doesn't normally plant a corpse, least of all with the
>
> expectation of its sprouting.
>
>
>
> The more I think about the passage, the more I wonder
>
> if there isn't a metaphysical conceit here. If planted is
>
> taken as a sexual reference, the sperm being planted in
>
> a woman (garden), then to juxtapose the embryo with a
>
> corpse is a very stricking effect, and could be seen
>
> as reflecting the sterility that sprouts all through TWL.
>
>
>
> P.
>
>
>
>
>
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